Posted by: kubiakl | December 27, 2010

Jet City 2112rc

My Jet City amp came the day before Christmas Eve, so I didn’t have the chance to sit down and write about it.  Now that I’ve had the time to play with it a little bit, let me just say WOW.

The first thing I noticed was the size of the amp – it dwarfs my Fender Blues Junior.  It’s still light enough to easily cart up and down the stairs though.

As for the aesthetics, it’s a looker.  Definitely not designed to look like a vintage style amp but not as flashy as some of the digital amps you see.  From the front you see a simple black face with a blue plate covering the head and the large Jet City logo (complete with the mysterious “333” designation, which Mike Soldano has declined to explain).  From the top you see the control panel:

Gain, reverb, tone stack, master volume, and presence.  Very simple controls, which I like.  The presence knob allows you to turn it up for a little boost in your treble which can help the amp cut through the mix in a band situation.  It also has a standby switch, which is pretty nice when you want to change guitars without that annoying “pop!” you hear when plugging in a cable.

Looking at the back:

A closed back cabinet with three speaker jacks.  One is for the internal speaker (it’s nice that it can be easily disconnected if you want to run through a different cabinet), the other two are an 8 ohm and a 16 ohm to give you a wider variety of cabinet options.

The tone is incredible.  I wanted a Bluesbreaker kind of crunch – not overly fuzzy, just a tight round sound, and this amp nails it in my ears.  Power chords sound tight, open chords don’t sound mushy, and single note lines ring out really well.  It’s a bass heavy amp so you might want to turn that knob down a little but otherwise I can’t find fault with the sound.

It’s also a very touch sensitive amp – playing softly will clean up the sound beautifully, strumming harder brings out the crunch.

At low gain levels it was a little unimpressive, but I didn’t buy this amp for a clean sound.  The reverb was also no where near as good as my upgraded Blues Junior, but who the hell wants reverb on their distorted tone?

If you’re looking for a low watt tube amp this one is hard to beat.  Three 12ax7s in the preamp, two 12ax7s for the reverb, and two EL84s for the power amp.  At apartment volumes I can get a great sound with plenty of room on the volume knob if I need to turn it up when playing with a drummer.

Merry Christmas to me!

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Responses

  1. These amps are noisy because of lack of dc power
    and possibly other design issues.
    Turning them up is a hum buzz fest.
    Too bad otherwise a great amp.
    That’s why they are being dumped.

    • Being dumped? I’m not sure what you mean. Yes, diming the gain and presence knobs gives you some buzz but with the gain at around 5.5 or 6 and the presence knob turned down it’s a clear sound with a sweet bit of overdrive.
      The JCA 2112RC also won Total Guitar Magazine’s “Total Guitar Amplifier Of The Year” award.
      Another review here:
      http://www.sonicstate.com/news/2010/10/11/amped-review-jet-city-2112rc-combo/
      mentions specifically that the JCA 2112RC isn’t a metal amp. You could probably use a pedal to get more gain without the hiss and buzz but that doesn’t make the amp a poorly designed one. It’s a one-trick pony but that trick happens to be my favorite.
      Sorry you didn’t care for them amigo. If you’re looking for a new amp, maybe try the Blackstar line. I was about to buy the HT-5 before I stumbled across this amp. They apparently use a completely different tube circuit than most amps.

  2. The Jet City amps look cool. Can you also unplug the speaker out from the plugs out of the back and connect a head to it? I can always lengthen the cable if needed.

  3. Yes, I believe the speaker can be unplugged from the back of the combo and used with another head, turning the 2112RC into a 1×12 cabinet. Just make sure you don’t turn on the Jet City amp while the speaker is disconnected – amps have to have a cabinet connected or a dummy load in order to keep them from overloading.
    Are you wanting to be able to switch between the stand-alone head and the Jet City combo without having to cart around a separate cabinet for the head?


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